Centenary professors organize public forum, Q&A on gender and sexuality

SHREVEPORT, LA —  Two Centenary College faculty members have organized an open forum to allow students and community members to discuss issues of gender and sexuality. The free public event will be held Monday, February 11, from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. in the Whited Room in Bynum Commons.

Participants will be able to use a digital portal to submit questions anonymously to be addressed by a panel that includes Centenary professors Dr. Amy Hammond and Dr. Michelle Wolkomir and Centenary alumnus Dr. Antonio Pizarro, a Shreveport OB-GYN. Hammond is associate professor of psychology at Centenary and Wolkomir is professor of sociology. Following brief introductions from the panelists, the forum will follow a question and answer format, allowing the members of the audience to direct the discussion topics.

The event is modeled on a student-organized event that Hammond and Wolkomir participated in last spring.

“For me, the most powerful thing about this Q&A model is that we’ve created an anonymous, safe space for people to ask questions that might be ‘taboo,’ and get clear, research-based answers,” says Hammond. “I can bring knowledge about many of the topics related to human sexuality – sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, and sexual behavior. Dr. Pizarro is a board-certified OB-GYN who can address medical issues related to gender and human sexuality.”

Wolkomir will draw on her sociology research to answer questions about the impact of socio-cultural systems and trends on gender and sexuality.

“Many people assume that what we think about gender and sexuality as a culture is ‘natural,’” explains Wolkomir. “They do not recognize the impact of constructed social arrangements, so one thing we hope to impart is that these are fluid and dynamic systems that do and can change. We want them to see how they work and to be able to make informed choices.”

For more information about the forum, please contact Dr. Amy Hammond at ahammond@centenary.edu.


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